The image of a little boy shining shoes on a street corner is a part of American culture. We've seen that image in a hundred movies. There have been countless references to shoe shine stands in literature, and the image has been captured on canvas by artists the world over. Shoe shine stands are still around, standing as a symbol of pride for the small-business entrepreneur. Learn how you can turn a little wood and a little work into a shoe shine stand of your own.
Things You'll Need
- Electric saw
- Tape measure
- Screw plates
- Shoe polish
- Soft cloths
Use a handsaw to cut the plywood pieces you'll need for the base of your shoe shine stand. Cut three equal pieces that will form the two sides and the back of your stand. Nail these pieces together. Now cut a piece for the floor of your base. Nail the floor to the sides of your stand. Cut thick three pieces of wood and nail them to the underside of the floor for support. Cut a final piece of plywood for the bottom of the inside of your shoe shine stand.
Cut two pieces of plywood to fit the width of your shoe shine stand base. These will be the shelves inside the base of your shoe shine stand. Nail the shelves in place.
Measure the front opening of your base and cut two doors out of plywood to fit. Drill the holes for door knobs. Screw the door knobs in place, then fix the hinge mechanisms to the base of the shoe shine stand. Attach the doors to the front of the base.
Attach a chair to the base of your stand. You can build a chair from scratch of you like, but it's just as easy to find an old chair somewhere. Check junkyards and knickknack shops. You might get lucky and find a chair someone has thrown away. Any comfortable chair will do. Nail four blocks of thick wood to the floor base, setting each block so the legs of the chair will rest on the blocks of wood. Nail the legs of the chair to the wooden blocks. This will secure the chair to the floor.
Add foot rests to the base of your shoe shine stand. You'll need two of them. Cut the plywood to match the general shape of a left foot and right foot. Apply a forward angle cut to the side pieces of the foot rests to allow your customers to rest their feet comfortably on the foot rests.
Think about adding a roof of some kind. You could do this several ways. You might construct a roof from plywood and mount it to four posts on the base of the shoe shine stand, but this would add weight to your stand. A better idea would be to attach a large patio umbrella or use canvas.
Add wheels to your shoe shine stand to make it portable. You can add four small wheels underneath the base of your shoe shine stand or put tires on it. Two tires on one side will do. Add a handle to the opposite side to allow you to pull the stand. Cut small pieces of plywood and nail them together to fashion a small step to the side of your stand to make it easier for your customers to step up to the platform.
Stock your shoe shine stand with plenty of shoe polish in a variety of colors, soft buffing cloth and magazines for your customers to read while you shine their shoes. And don't forget the tip jar.